Richard G. Petty, MD

Rescue Remedy and Acute Anxiety

I have been using the Bach Flower Essences since the 1970s and they can be very helpful. Since living in the United States I have added the American Flower Essences to my repertoire. We have even helped cats, dogs and horses with them. The whole idea that soaking a flower in water and exposing the infusion to sunlight could have any therapeutic benefit seems absurd. Except that the remedies so often work. The trouble is that there is so little decent research on them.

A new study conducted by researchers at the University of Miami School of Nursing in conjunction with The Sirkin Creative Living Center has suggested that Rescue Remedy, a mixture of five of the Bach Essences, may be effective for the treatment of anxiety.

Rescue Remedy, manufactured by Nelsons, contains five flower essences, each of which is said to have a specific psycho-spiritual action:

The study examined the product for the reduction of acute situational stress. A double-blind clinical trial comparing a standard dosage of Rescue Remedy against a placebo of identical appearance was conducted in a sample of 111 individuals aged 18 to 49. The Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) was administered before and after the use of Rescue Remedy or placebo. The results suggest that Rescue Remedy may be effective in reducing fairly high levels of situational anxiety. The results were just published in the latest edition of Complementary Health Practice Review. The abstract should be available online in the near future.

It will be interesting to see if this result can be replicated with this kind of acute anxiety, as well as other types of stress or anxiety. The STAI is a good choice for a first study: it is simple and attempts to capture the key features of the acute anxiety as well as the long-term propensity to it. It can be hard for people to give reproducible answers when they are acutely anxious, and it is important to know about the inter-rater reliability of the people dong the evaluations.

Recently the Rescue remedy has been produced as a spray as well as the original drops, and we have been making extensive use of it in combination with other approaches to treatment.

As I explain in Healing, Meaning and Purpose, there are good reasons for thinking that different types of treatment work at different levels of an individual. The flower essences seem to work at the level of the Informational Matrix of the body: it is an “information medicine,” that can act very quickly. We have seen scared horses – and people – calm down within seconds after being given the right remedy.

When it works, it can be remarkable.

About Richard G. Petty, MD
Dr. Richard G. Petty, MD is a world-renowned authority on the brain, and his revolutionary work on human energy systems has been acclaimed around the globe. He is also an accredited specialist in internal and metabolic medicine, endocrinology, psychiatry, acupuncture and homeopathy. He has been an innovator and leader of the human potential movement for over thirty years and is also an active researcher, teacher, writer, professional speaker and broadcaster. He is the author of five books, including the groundbreaking and best selling CD series Healing, Meaning and Purpose. He has taught in over 45 countries and 48 states in the last ten years, but spends as much time as possible on his horse farm in Georgia.

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